August 19, 2022

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Queer horror finds its queen in ‘All About Evil’

Queer horror is having a second. Nicely, technically, queer horror has been having its second...

Queer horror is having a second. Nicely, technically, queer horror has been having its second for 150 years. The lesbian vampire urtext Carmilla pre-dates Dracula by 1 / 4 of a century, in any case. However that wink-wink nudge-nudge model of queerness that we’ve grow to be so used to — consider these lingering glances between Brad Pitt and Antonio Banderas’ under-eyeliner in Interview with a Vampire — has been shoved down the steps Showgirls-style by a louder, brasher, and queerer model, all harnessed up and able to take its place.

In just a few weeks, Shudder’s four-part docuseries Queer for Worry will sort out that lengthy thorny historical past head-on. However first, this very weekend sees the discharge of two explicitly queer horror movies. Hitting Peacock is the conversion-camp slasher They/Them, whereas A24’s Our bodies Our bodies Our bodies drops us into the harmful anything-goes habitat of the doped-up Zoomer whereas it storms straight (however not straight-straight) right into a theater close to you. That’s all high quality and filled with dandies, however there’s one other gal on the town price a look-see. Her identify is All About Evil.

Positive, she could be just a little older, and her hair could be matted up with all types of questionable substances. She’s acquired some mileage on her. She has seen some shit. Misplaced within the theatrical shuffle of the monetary disaster and launched onto about 15 DVDs earlier than vanishing from the face of the earth, she grew to become a ghost in file time. However all of that’s behind us now, as a result of All About Evil has lastly elbowed her method up from the grave after a decade of obscurity to say her rightful place on the queer horror throne. The gruesomely hilarious (hilariously ugly?) comedy-slasher from 2010 stars Natasha Lyonne and was directed by Joshua Grannell (aka, the legendary drag queen and horror host Peaches Christ). However age solely provides sparkle to her tiara, should you ask me.

All About Evil was meant to get a theatrical, streaming, and bodily launch in 2020 for its correct tenth anniversary earlier than, you already know, 2020 occurred. Now, this freaky movie is lastly getting the deluxe therapy a queen of this import and bearing deserves. Severin has unleashed a fancy Blu-ray launch. Peaches Christ herself has been touring coast to coast to showcase the movie at festivals. Most significantly, this chopping comedy lastly made its streaming debut on Shudder throughout Pleasure Month. And there it sits immediately, beckoning you to come back gape and jape at its sordid and spectacular story of 1 movie nerd pushed too far. Far too far! We relate.

In All About Evil, Lyonne (ever the sport one) performs Deborah (pronounced De-BORE-ahh), a mousy little factor, who hides behind an additional massive soda pop whereas working on the counter of her father’s dilapidated movie show in San Francisco’s Mission District. Deeply bonded over their shared love of horror movies, Deborah takes her father’s sudden demise arduous. So arduous that she begins slaughtering everybody in sight, beginning together with her personal sneering mom.

It’s not simply old school homicide, although. Together with her crimes, Deborah creates artwork, staging every demise Bucket-of-Blood-style. Solely as a substitute of encasing them in plaster just like the Roger Corman film did, she turns every murder right into a ugly brief movie, which she screens earlier than the evening’s fundamental characteristic. Image these “don’t you dare use your mobile phone” movies they run on the Alamo Drafthouse, however with breasts being lopped off in tiny little guillotines.

Owing as a lot of a debt to John Waters because it does to Roger Corman (to not point out exploitation queen Doris Wishman, who knowledgeable the character of Deborah), Grannell populates his movie with a holy trinity of cult figures. Beside Lyonne (a cult goddess proper out of the gate because of her legendary position as “Opal” on Pee-wee’s Playhouse), now we have Dreamlander royalty Mink Stole enjoying Lyonne’s mouthy librarian buddy. Cassandra Peterson — sure, Elvira! — seems in one among her uncommon non-Elvira roles, enjoying the mom of Lyonne’s sort-of love-interest Steven (Thomas Dekker), a fellow movie nerd who’s nonetheless the straight man (wink-wink) to all the larger-than-life characters surrounding him.

Drop all of those hams right into a rundown theater filled with wigs, cobwebs, and sharp objects, then shake completely. What Grannell comes up with is actually one-of-a-kind – a cult film ode to cult motion pictures that wears its massive homosexual coronary heart (and the blood from a number of different hearts of each orientation underneath the rainbow) loud and proud on its massive homosexual sleeve.

Surprisingly, Lyonne truly goes barely much less massive than you may anticipate. However this selection items the movie’s spiraling middle some real pathos. Thus, there’s a sweetness that sticks to All About Evil, like a lot popcorn scattered in regards to the theater ground. As drag queens run up and down the aisles saving the day within the film’s last mayhem-stuffed act, it’s nigh inconceivable to not see All About Evil because the passionately goofy (goofily passionate?) treatise for queer inclusion within the horror film house that its makers meant. An area that feels, in the end, to be really opening up.

All About Evil is now streaming on Shudder.

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